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12-31-2008, 12:39 PM   #16
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I mean to continue waxing philosophical, well, I've always thought myself to have something of an artistic 'eye.' Enough of one to know that future generations probably aren't going to be looking at my work and wondering why I couldn't spring for more DPI of resolution. My photographic heroes and heroines, have always been the documentarians, witting and unwitting.

All the rest is maybe to support some kind of notion of participation in history, and waking up to find *journalism* gone digital (and tabloid)

...was maybe the biggest wrench of all. And, well, I don't really get around quick enough to be chasing historical events, anyway. You know, but there's still a lot of appeal to film, lovely subjective qualities and it being something I wanted to go into as a craft in *large measure* cause it looked like everyone I went to school with was going to end up stuck behind a computer and I didn't want that for myself...

But, you know, there's this town I recently lived in, and you might go into any number of pubs, and see these old photographs, some with what we'd call really poor quality, but sometimes the artisan's hand there, and I like to think about who made those photographs, and what with.

And I realized this town had one of those rare qualities of home, when I felt, 'You know, I'd like to be that person for someone in the future.' That's as good as saying, 'I could leave my bones here.'

Never got to be any kind of hotshot photog, but film does some stuff that nothing with a delete key hanging over it ever could. It's not something you can really 'kill' ...only talk some people out of.

12-31-2008, 12:49 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
"About the only thing you can do with a manual film camera that you can't do with a digital camera is shoot film, and I don't think that is going to prove to be enough. Certainly the manufacturers of manual film cameras don't seem to think so. They've gotten out of the film camera business, leaving them as a rump product for smaller manufacturers who also don't seem to be making very many of them.
I just had a look at the Cosina website. They are advertising a few rangefinder bodies, but no SLRs."

They also make... A profit.

They issued a *screwmount* body for a few years, and *sold them out, too,* and that's while most folks can have a screwmount body that still works off Ebay.

One thing you can do with a film camera that you cannot with a digital is: make something permanent with your own hands.

Coffee grounds and vinegar, if you have to.

You think someone a hundred years from now is gonna dig up your high-performance Mac, make it run, and find their heritage there?

I can't even read my *Word* files from the Nineties.

Digital's lovely for a lot of things, and a practical necessity in others, but it's not the be all and end all of photography.

You never know what's going to be important later.

The world's more photographed than ever in history, but...

How many archival hardcopies are being made?
Good points all, and I'm hoping that us B&W users don't have to devolve to using coffee grounds as developer, but that isn't going to do much for the colour film user who needs mechanized processing.
That roll of film isn't especially permanent images if you can't get them developed.
As an aside, have you tried to get some of those old oversized negatives from the 20s and 30s printed lately?
We can't find a source for printing them so we scan them on a flatbed.
Great for us, OK for anyone who owns a film capable scanner, not so good for the other 99.9% of the world.
Most people aren't as savvy about this stuff as those of us who hang out on camera forums, and our population is relatively small, as is any enthusiast group compared to the total population.
And frankly, in a hundred years, I have very strong doubts that any of my colour negatives will be printable, even if the technology is available to produce prints, and if anyone is so foolish as to want to see what my dogs looked like.

If film SLRs (and film cameras in general) were so profitable, they would still be in production. I don't know about the low end Nikon (which is a Chinese clone of someone else's knock off anyway). Someone may still be making it.
I do know that the manufacturer (Cosina) isn't listing any SLR cameras on their website.
At least I think Cosina was the manufacturer of the FM-10, I could be wrong.
The F6 was never meant to be a profit maker, and from what I've been told by the guys at my local shop, the last ones rolled off the line in October. I've been told that the top end Canon is out of production as well.
Note also that Pentax no longer makes any film cameras, and Sony mysteriously decided to not continue making Maxxum film cameras when they bought Minolta from Konica, who also couldn't salvage anything usable from Minolta's film camera line, though they killed themselves trying.

Film cameras still profitable?
The people who make them just don't seem to agree with you.

As far as whats on various websites, the 60-250/4 and 55/1.4 are listed on Pentax Canada's website, but I'm not seeing them as available, so who knows?
A few years ago I tried to order an FA*200/4 Macro. It was on PCI's website, but the rep himself told me it wasn't available through Pentax any longer (though he did manage to find me one, bless his Kazzy little head).
It seems apparent that a website listing does not necessarily translate into available products though.
Has anyone tried to order an EOS1 lately?

If you had updated your word files from the 90s as new software became available, you would still be able to read them, BTW.
Or, had you used Corel instead of MS, you'd be OK as well. I can still read my WPD files from the late 90s, and my RTF files are still parsable as well.

People who choose to not update their file formats to be readable with existing software, or who don't keep legacy software/hardware available are having trouble, and this is going to affect a lot of people, not just casual snapshooters. Some of us know enough to transfer our files into non proprietary forms, some don't.
You want to keep a word document forever without worry? Maybe make it into a text file or an RTF. The formatting will be gone, but the message will remain. At least they have cross platform/software vendor support.
The same with image files.
We all hate jpegs, but I bet that is a format which will stand the test of time. Or BMPs. They should be readable until the sun goes Nova as well.
OTOH, the camera maker's proprietary format is a very bad risk, and things like DNG are only somewhat less risky.
Kodak had a slogan for a while that went something like "If you haven't got a picture, you haven't got the picture".
And that is so true. My family's history before me is tied up in old photo albums and boxes of pictures. My own childhood faded into history along with the Ektachrome slides that my father shot, which faded out long before I reached middle age. My own childhood is lost, all that remains are clear pieces of celluloid in cardboard frames.
Real photographs can fade as well, you see, so in a hundred years, it may not matter if you were shooting film or digital, the results may well be the same.
In fact, the digital pictures may be better off.
12-31-2008, 01:37 PM   #18
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"Good points all, and I'm hoping that us B&W users don't have to devolve to using coffee grounds as developer,"

Won't, actually: the same stuff still comes by the bushel as lab and industrial reagents, you just pay someone to mix and package em for you. Even for Kodak there's small risk in continuing to make D-76. Trying to prop up a megacorporation on this basis, less successful an idea.



" but that isn't going to do much for the colour film user who needs mechanized processing."

Frankly, they've been getting the shaft all along. No incentive to do it right when the mechanized processing is directly competing with big corporate bucks invested in *making* people go digital.

Large numbers of amateurs have been showing me fuzzy or screwed-up prints and asking, 'What am I doing wrong?'


Conversation then goes:
"Let me see the negatives."

*peer.*

"Nothing. These are good negs. The printers just don't give a crap anymore."



"That roll of film isn't especially permanent images if you can't get them developed."

But someone can do that.

"As an aside, have you tried to get some of those old oversized negatives from the 20s and 30s printed lately?"

Come to my house.


"We can't find a source for printing them so we scan them on a flatbed."

And this will *continue* to be an option as long as our society can support flatbeds.

Jpegs, on the other hand, are vapor if an engineer has a whimsy we don't need anything out of all that goes into reading Jpegs.

Negs retain their images *without* ongoing tech support.
12-31-2008, 01:49 PM   #19
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"I do know that the manufacturer (Cosina) isn't listing any SLR cameras on their website.
At least I think Cosina was the manufacturer of the FM-10, I could be wrong."

You're not wrong. Cosina is making some wonderful rangefinders, ...out of the same tools and dies as they usedwhen they punched out Nikon FG's.

Same chassis, all they did was replace some of the failure-prone plastic parts with proper metal clockwork, and obviously change some other stuff around.

Turned a real lemon of a budget film SLR into something droolable. I approve. Mama want, actually.

Which is, in fact, my point, exactly. When trying to compete for volume as a subcontractor and off-brand maker of mass-market products, Cosina was decidedly-third rate.

Big companies stop dominating the market with all-advertising and no product worth the mention, all of a sudden someone's making a living milling the brass, putting it together properly, and selling rangefinders ...and even K-mount Nokton Topcor clones.

12-31-2008, 02:01 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
"


Negs retain their images *without* ongoing tech support.
What's your mailing address, I've got some 50 year old Ektachromes for you to look at........
Seriously though, unless you are shooting B&W film and archiving it properly, you may be in for a shock in another half century or so.
Or your grand kids might, anyway.

Whether it is bad printing or consumer disinterest that kills film off once and for all, the end result is the same

Last edited by Wheatfield; 12-31-2008 at 02:10 PM. Reason: more thoughts
12-31-2008, 02:10 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
"I do know that the manufacturer (Cosina) isn't listing any SLR cameras on their website.
At least I think Cosina was the manufacturer of the FM-10, I could be wrong."

You're not wrong. Cosina is making some wonderful rangefinders, ...out of the same tools and dies as they usedwhen they punched out Nikon FG's.

Same chassis, all they did was replace some of the failure-prone plastic parts with proper metal clockwork, and obviously change some other stuff around.

Turned a real lemon of a budget film SLR into something droolable. I approve. Mama want, actually.

Which is, in fact, my point, exactly. When trying to compete for volume as a subcontractor and off-brand maker of mass-market products, Cosina was decidedly-third rate.

Big companies stop dominating the market with all-advertising and no product worth the mention, all of a sudden someone's making a living milling the brass, putting it together properly, and selling rangefinders ...and even K-mount Nokton Topcor clones.
I think the debate here is whether film as we know it is long term viable. One company making a few rangefinder cameras isn't telling me the same thing it is telling you.
What it's telling me is that there are enough oddballs out there in a world of billions to support one small company making decidedly limited interest products.
I hear the Amish still drive horse and buggies around New England. This doesn't man that it is a viable option for everyone, it just means that there are some stubborn holdouts who don't want to enter the 20th century.
They probably have to make their own buggies.
12-31-2008, 02:11 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
What's your mailing address, I've got some 50 year old Ektachromes for you to look at........
Seriously though, unless you are shooting B&W film and archiving it properly, you may be in for a shock in another half century or so.
Or your grand kids might, anyway.
I'm told I could still pull off Cibachrome, of all things.

Though actually, it's the color stuff most likely to fall by the wayside in all this: but as long as those Ektachromes survive, *do* scan them and make hardcopies. None of the supposed superiority of digital counts, there, ...I'm talking about the photos that no one *wants* to go to that effort for. What's important to us now may not be what our descendants are yearning to know.


These images *exist.* You can find a way to preserve or print them. If you don't, they may look as crapy as an old dag, but they'll still *exist.* Maybe with a computer. You could do this preservation. This computer, the last computer, the next computer. I'm not talking purism, here, I'm talking about what happens to what we shoot *now.*

Maybe future geeks will say, 'Aha, I can make an emulator if anything lasted on your harddrive this long, your ancestors should have been more technical, LOL, l053r.'

Yaknow, I'm just not betting on that being how it plays out.
12-31-2008, 02:19 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I think the debate here is whether film as we know it is long term viable. One company making a few rangefinder cameras isn't telling me the same thing it is telling you.
What it's telling me is that there are enough oddballs out there in a world of billions to support one small company making decidedly limited interest products.
I hear the Amish still drive horse and buggies around New England. This doesn't man that it is a viable option for everyone, it just means that there are some stubborn holdouts who don't want to enter the 20th century.
They probably have to make their own buggies.

Not so much New England as Pennslvania and Wisconsin, but.

They'd say of their horses and buggies that have been in their families a lot longer than even my families Canon FTbs and old photos...

'It's enough.'

And I'll tell you I'm *thoroughly* in the 20th century.

Any eedjit could do the 21st right now.

If they're right, no one's gonna miss me either way.

If they aren't and the compys go down, I'm the only photog on the block.

So don't diss the Amish too hard, either. People who can program these computers are a dime a dozen. Can't make the chair they sit on to do it, though.

12-31-2008, 02:40 PM   #24
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I can see what you're getting at, RML. With photographs, there is a certain physical aspect to their existance; a negative is something you can hold in your hands, that was created with chemicals and light. Somehow, digital just doesn't seem the same, as light enters the camera and gets translated into 1s and 0s, much like the rest of our world is. It's just not the same.

That said, not all film will last forever. Color negs have poor storage characteristics when compared to their B&W counterparts, though slides seem to stand up. However, you can still dig 80 year old films out of the Disney vault and see what's on them. I doubt we'll ever be able to do this with digital. Technology changes gears way to fast to actually keep anything around long enough, and even when armed with a plethora of backup options, you can still lose your pictures in a single power interruption. Not to mention that duplication of digital data is NOT infallible. The myth surrounding digital information and it's ability to be propagated without loss is indeed a myth. Modern computers contain all kinds of error and data correction, so when you transfer your pictures to a hard drive, if the computer misses a few bits and bytes, it will simply fill in the blanks with interpolated information. Eventually, this ends in either the picture changing or simply not showing up due to a lack of intelligible data. Every time you re-create a digital file, you're at risk of this occurring.

Not quite the iron clad solution, but then again, I don't think most people have given archiving their images much thought. Not yet. In twenty years when they wish they had the pictures they had taken, it might be a different tune altogether.
12-31-2008, 02:47 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I'm told I could still pull off Cibachrome, of all things.

Though actually, it's the color stuff most likely to fall by the wayside in all this: but as long as those Ektachromes survive, *do* scan them and make hardcopies. None of the supposed superiority of digital counts, there, ...I'm talking about the photos that no one *wants* to go to that effort for. What's important to us now may not be what our descendants are yearning to know.


These images *exist.* You can find a way to preserve or print them. If you don't, they may look as crapy as an old dag, but they'll still *exist.* Maybe with a computer. You could do this preservation. This computer, the last computer, the next computer. I'm not talking purism, here, I'm talking about what happens to what we shoot *now.*

Maybe future geeks will say, 'Aha, I can make an emulator if anything lasted on your harddrive this long, your ancestors should have been more technical, LOL, l053r.'

Yaknow, I'm just not betting on that being how it plays out.
I think you missed the part where I mentioned that all that was left of my childhood, photographically speaking, is a bunch of clear celluloid in cardboard mounts.
The images themselves have, for the most part, completely faded away.

Personally, I still put more faith in film than digital image storage, simply because while either one can fail, digital has more chances of failing, and (with the exception of the photographic proof that I was born, not spawned under a rock by trolls) will fail far more catastrophically when it does.
Did you know that the new Fuji minilabs are based on inkjet printing technology?
That sent shivers down my spine, let me tell you.
Lets just take an imaging technology that is notoriously unstable and couple it with a printing technology that is probably equally unstable.
This has the makings of the mid 60s Agfa paper fiasco all over again.

Unfortunately, the rest of the world, outside of small groups of people such as ourselves, just don't give it any thought.
I find comfort in knowing that I'm not taking "important" pictures, and so anything I shoot is pretty disposable, but I do feel sympathy for my friends kids, who's children may never know what their grandparents looked like on their wedding day.

OTOH, people who trusted their memories to disc film already know the pain of not being able to get prints done, as does most anyone who has "unsupported format" negatives.
Those odd sized negs I was talking about earlier?
For most people, they'll take them to a photo kiosk, since that's all that's left to them, and when the counter drone says they can't be printed anymore will likely as not just forget the whole thing and will not get prints done at all.
And most likely, in a half century, this will be repeated over and over again when film printing is no longer commercially available.
We represent such a minuscule % of the population, for most people, a few queries is all they'll make, and then decide that the time has passed for what they want.
This presumes that they still have viable negatives, and not completely blank strips of plastic. Colour film really hasn't had the time to prove it's long term viability as a storage medium.
12-31-2008, 05:29 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
...The world's more photographed than ever in history, but...

How many archival hardcopies are being made?
That is an interesting statement. About a month ago I visited an exhibit at the Portland Art Museum consisting exclusively of vintage photographs of the Columbia River Gorge. I expected to see recent prints made from old negatives. Can you image my surprise to find that the bulk of the exhibit was composed of HUGE original contact prints, the oldest of which were dated to 1867.

Portland Art Museum | Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge, 1867-1957:

The thought has crossed my mind several times in the last few weeks that the images on my hard drive are incredibly fragile. I also considered the question of what will happen when I die? Will my daughter go through the trouble to find the image files and/or archive DVDs? Will she know how to defeat the computer's security? My black and white negatives and archival-processed prints are pretty hard to miss, but the equally good digital work is easily overlooked.

I know the thoughts are a little morbid and even a little vain! But still...

Steve
12-31-2008, 05:39 PM   #27
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Leica still makes film rangefinder cameras and has introduced a new one. Fujifilm has three new professional colour slide films. Two big companies along with Kodak introducing new film products for 2008. Also two new B&W film lines from Arista (USA) and Legacy Pro (Japan). Looks like there’s still life in film yet.

The lack of new film bodies is no big deal, as they would be the same as digital cameras, plastic junk. Any new digital camera will be obsolete in five years and unfixable in ten.
K1000’s and Spotmatic’s will still be going strong fifty years from now.

As for film storage, if earth was ever destroyed two things would survive, cockroaches and Kodachrome slides. If there ever was a film meant for long term archival storage, it’s Kodachrome slide film. Yes you can still buy it and get it processed.
12-31-2008, 06:10 PM   #28
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Back to the original post...

I just got my first roll developed and have posted a few examples here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/45448-kodak-ek...tml#post435014

Enjoy!

Steve
12-31-2008, 08:58 PM   #29
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BTW, it's not to say film lasts forever: just about all art is in one way or another ephemeral: if you want forever, etch in bronze and cover it in wax... But a hundred fifty years is a lot longer than five or ten, by a few lifetimes and a lot of perspective, if you want to compare longevity, and how long someone has to decide what systems to maintain and what to convert/to 'back up.'

As for will there still be film in *this* lifetime? Yeah. Just a matter of getting it.
12-31-2008, 09:34 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote


As for film storage, if earth was ever destroyed two things would survive, cockroaches and Kodachrome slides. If there ever was a film meant for long term archival storage, itís Kodachrome slide film. Yes you can still buy it and get it processed.
I'll bet you a nickel that Kodak discontinues Kodachrome either this year or next.
If it becomes a "Royal" film, you'll know it's on it's way out.
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